Suzuki Press Office
Álex Rins Q&A:
What is the hardest part of winter, the weather or the inactivity?
I think the hardest part of winter is waiting. Yes, waiting, the inactivity.
How do you fill your time during the winter break?
When I have time off I try to do many things, train, have some fun, spend time with friends and my family.
Are you one who likes to escape to the sun or do you prefer mountains?
I prefer mountains, yes I am more of an explorer!
Tell us what gift you got for Christmas...
2019 has brought me a new toy; my MotoGP bike that I am going to ride again soon.
What is the hardest thing about going back to work?
I believe that there is nothing very hard in my work. In the end I do what I love, that is to ride a motorcycle, and I am very satisfied with this.
Are you biting your nails counting the days until the 2019 MotoGP World Championship?
Yes, Yes, Yes... I am waiting and looking forward to the first race in Qatar!
Tell me, what’s your aim for this new season…
To gain a lot of experience, try to improve on last year’s results, and try to get a victory.
Can you reveal something new for this year? Something about your livery…
At the moment, I can’t tell you anything…
Do you dare to tell us how many kilos you’ve put on during vacation?
I have no idea how many kilos I have picked up. I was lucky that I ran out of batteries on the scales and they don’t work ... (laughs)
What have you been able to do this winter that you usually can’t because of your professional career?
This winter I took the opportunity to go on vacation, to spend the new year away from home, in Porto, and I really enjoyed it a lot.
In the absence of MotoGP, the best way to entertain yourself is ...
The best way to entertain me when I’m not at the MotoGP is with motocross, a trials bike, and going to the gym ...
Ski or snowboard?
I am more into skiing.
Fireplace or heating?
I like the fireplace more.
How much have you missed your GSX-RR?
I've missed my GSX-RR a lot, yes.
Have you ever named your motorcycle? Will you do it this year?
I have never thought about giving my motorcycle a name, but maybe this year we can think of something...
How much do you think the bike will have grown during winter in Hamamatsu?
I hope the bike has grown a lot…but not in size or weight! Surely there will have been some important progress and development.
What do you want from this bike, that the predecessor lacked?
That has a little more top speed and to be a bit stronger on the brakes.
After a successful 2018, how far do you think you can go this season?
Well, last year was a great year for Suzuki, we managed to develop the bike a lot and I think the objective for this year is to achieve the victory that we lacked in 2018. And, in my case, continue to grow as a rider and gain even more experience.
How much have you improved as a rider and how much do you still need to grow?
Well, I think I have improved a lot with Suzuki, I have lived through many experiences, I have grown in maturity riding with the top guys in front, and in all kinds of situations, although of course I still have so much to improve on. In the end you never stop growing and learning new things.
This season you must take on the role of number 1 rider when developing the bike. How much does it motivate you, and how much pressure do you feel from this role?
Pressure? None. In the end, since last year I am very focused on my bike and the development of the GSX-RR. This year I can’t rely on having an experienced rider alongside me, but I think it's not a big problem. We have to focus on our own work, on our development, and try to help Suzuki to make a winning bike.
What is the primary objective for your third season in MotoGP?
Well, the first goal is to make a competitive, race winning bike. We have to keep getting experience, but I think we are now ready for victory.
What would you ask for this new 2019 bike that perhaps was lacking in the 2018 prototype?
I think we had a good package with the previous bike. We managed to make a very good machine, and coming into 2019 we have tried to make a bike that’s improved a bit in all aspects: in braking, acceleration, and top speed...
It's been a couple of years since you joined the team, how much has Team SUZUKI ECSTAR improved in this time?
The team has improved a lot. Both me and the team are growing every time we test, and always gaining more experience. The bike has already improved a lot from 2017 to 2018 in terms of engine performance and concerning the chassis as well, and we hope that this year the contrast will be similar or even better.
The Sepang test is coming soon, does it take a while to feel comfortable on the bike again after a long time off it?
The winter feels very long and I really want to get back on track, and the first time I get on the bike will be in Malaysia, after a few months without riding the MotoGP bike. Yes, for the first day it is a bit complicated, but I have trained during this preseason in the gym and in Andorra to arrive as prepared as possible.
Álex Rins was born on December 8th, 1995 in Barcelona, Spain to Rafael and Victoria. His first contact with the world of motorsport occurred very early in his life, as happens with many of his kind in World Championship racing. The first time he had a go on a motorized machine, Álex was only three. It was in 1998, when he was able to ride a quad that he had been given as a present. It was only his first try, but it would leave a significant and permanent mark on his personality.
Three years later, in 2001, a couple of friends of his father, Rafa, encouraged him to put Álex on a motorcycle just as a test. Rafa put his son on a Lem when he was four and that experience may have changed the rest of his life. It was enough to make him finally park the quad and start to dream of owning his own bike. Because of his insistence, Rins fulfilled his dream two years later and his parents ended up buying him a motocross KTM 50cc.
On the Constantí circuit he nurtured his great passion and began to train with his motorcycle. The following year 2003, thanks in great part to Montse Costa, he was able to participate in the Catalan and Aragonese Championships, obtaining a victory in the latter.
His true love for the tracks began in 2005, when Álex debuted in this discipline competing in the last three events of the Promo 50cc calendar. Two years later Álex rounded off a masterful season by winning the Catalan Championship of 80cc, the 70cc Promo, the Mediterranean Championship of 80cc, and the 12 hours of Vic Endurance.
Thereafter came 2008 - the year of discovery. After an excellent season in the Championship of Cataluña and in the Mediterranean in Pre125GP, someone important became aware of his talent. Emilio Alzamora, former 125cc world champion in 1999, fortuitously meets Álex at the Almeria circuit and offers him the first contract of his life to enroll under the structure of the Monlau School.
At the age of 14, he entered the Spanish Speed Championship (CEV) and during his first race he impressed everyone. In 2010 Álex defeated more mature riders like Maverick Viñales or Miguel Oliveira and achieved his first victory. He would go on to close the season with a fantastic third place. The image of an Álex Rins would be cemented as capable of fighting for victory in every race. This display allowed a sponsor as giant as Repsol to gamble on him for even greater challenges.
Many expectations grew about him and the pressure to win increased considerably during the Spanish Championship (CEV) of 2011. Nevertheless, Álex knew how to control it, did not fail, and was proclaimed Champion with two victories and three podiums places in seven races. In addition, he completed an incredible season by becoming European runner-up, only surpassed by Italian Romano Fenati.
In 2012 the doors of the Moto3 World Championship were opened to him. When only 16 years and four months old, he held the Spanish title and was a European runner-up. With the support of Repsol and Estrella Galicia, Álex made the leap to Moto3 World Championship riding a Honda bike. Two races were enough to get his first Pole Position in Jerez, and only four to get his first win at Le Mans, where he proved that people who had bet on him had not been wrong. With a slightly inferior motorcycle and on circuits that he did not know, he demonstrated his greatness in races. All that effort and the hard work from the team led him to get 141 points in the world championship. He earned the well-deserved 2012 Rookie of the Year title in Moto 3 and finished fifth in the final standings.
A few months later, already in 2013, the Barcelona rider began to truly dedicate himself to the sport. With a more competitive bike and the experience of a year in the World Championships, he only had to concentrate on his task and develop all his talent, fighting for the title until the very last race in the tightest finish in the history of the championship. Álex visited the podium in almost all the races, obtained six victories and eight pole positions. Everything was at stake with Luis Salom and Maverick Viñales and it was this last one where he finally tasted the glory in Valencia. Seldom has a young man achieved what Álex Rins had in just the second year within the World Championship. He had six victories and got pole position eight times.
In 2014 he left his reliable KTM and opted for the brand new Honda, a big question mark. At the conclusion of the season he secured third position in the final standings. Shortly thereafter it became public that during the 2015 season he would make the jump to Moto 2 with the Páginas Amarillas HP40 Team, managed by former 250cc world champion Sito Pons. The year ended with the balance sheet at two wins and six podiums.
In Moto2 he did not let anyone down. In his first year, Álex was more than successful, closing the season with the runner-up title and again receiving the Rookie of the Year title. His performance went from less to more throughout the season and he finished the year with a total of ten podiums -three third places, five second and two victories in Australia and Indianapolis, plus three poles in his first season in Moto2.
A year later all eyes were focused on Álex and Johann Zarco, the reigning world champion. Until the middle of the season he was fighting for the title with the French rider but several inopportune falls and an injury in the shoulder drastically reduced his chances to fight for the crown. He concluded his season with third position and a total of seven podiums, with two victories and one pole position.
2017 marked his debut in the MotoGP class, joining as a Factory Rider with Team SUZUKI ECSTAR. It turned out to be a baptism of fire for the Spaniard, who was hit by injuries in the preseason test, in winter training, and – most costly of all – in Friday Free Practice in Texas, where he broke his right wrist. His recovery took 5 races, and when he finally got back on his GSX-RR in Assen he had to re-start his whole approach to MotoGP. His growth since that moment was consistent and fast, allowing him to be fully prepared for a much happier 2018 season.
Indeed, this latest season was the one which confirmed his place among the fastest and most consistent MotoGP riders. With the renewed competitiveness of Suzuki's Factory GSX-RR machine, Álex was able to start with a bang in Argentina, taking his first MotoGP podium (3rd place). This led him to an outstanding second half of the season with three 2nd places (Netherlands, Malaysia and Valencia) and one 3rd place in Japan - an especially important podium right in front of Suzuki Motor Corporation’s President Mr. Toshihiro Suzuki.